Spain beckons Bunker for Formula BMW USA Scholarship Program BRIDGEWATER, N.J., (December 17, 2003) - Team Rennsport announced today that driver Robert Bunker, of Bridgewater, N.J., will attend the Formula BMW USA Scholarship...
Spain beckons Bunker for Formula BMW USA Scholarship Program
BRIDGEWATER, N.J., (December 17, 2003) - Team Rennsport announced today that driver Robert Bunker, of Bridgewater, N.J., will attend the Formula BMW USA Scholarship Qualifying Program and Licensing Course at the Formula BMW Racing Center in Valencia, Spain. The 15 year old Bunker has been competing at a national level in karting for the past four years, scoring an impressive three wins in the highly competitive 2003 WKA Manufacturer's Cup series.
"Our goal has always been to leverage our karting program as a stepping stone into open wheel racing," said Chip Bunker, Robert's father and Team Principal for Team Rennsport. "This past summer, we looked into several different open wheel series, including Formula BMW. But when BMW made the announcement that the highly successful international Formula BMW Championship would be expanded to include the U.S., our decision was easy," Chip added.
Bunker was chosen, from over 35 highly qualified applicants, to attend the Formula BMW USA Scholarship Qualifying Program and Licensing Course at the Formula BMW Racing Center in Valencia, Spain on 08-10 January 2004. "This past week has been pretty rough," said an anxious Robert Bunker. "We knew that BMW would be making their final decision this week concerning who would be going to Valencia. It's been hard to sleep given the anticipation of the decision. I was excited and honored to hear that I was selected. Now I can't wait to get to Valencia. If I do well there it will put us in a good position for the 2004 Formula BMW USA Championships," said Robert.
"BMW has put together what we believe is the premier program for young racers," said Chip. "The program goes well beyond just teaching young hopefuls to drive. It's a well rounded program which includes fitness, nutrition, and public speaking training. Racing is a business and it teaches these talented young drivers to approach it as such," noted Chip.
"The Formula BMW USA program is the perfect bridge from karting to higher levels of motorsport," said Keith Freber, President of Margay Products, "and Robert is a natural fit for this program. His extensive karting experience will serve him well and he should excel."
BMW 's commitment to developing young driving talent goes back to the 1970s, when the company supported the BMW Junior Team and the spectacular Procar series. From 1991 to 2001, BMW was involved in the Formula ADAC championship, helping gifted young drivers to progress from go-karts to Formula racing. 2002 saw the launch of a new concept, a new name and a new car. The previously separate Championship and Junior Cup have now been combined to form the international Formula BMW Championship. The main aim of this championship is to offer drivers the comprehensive training they need to make the move into Formula racing, and the new international dimension can only contribute to the process. For 2004, the international Formula BMW Championship will be contested in Germany, Asia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
"We want to thank BMW for putting together such a wonderful program and for selecting us to participate," said Chip. "I'm happy for Robert and for the rest of our team; John Baio, Robert's tuner, and Mike Doty, Robert's driving coach. It takes a team effort to be successful in racing. Without the help of people like Keith Freber of Margay Products, Carl Woltjer of Woltjer Racing Engines, Art Verlengiere of RLV Tuned Exhaust Products, and Steve Tillett of Tillett Racing Seats, we would not have been able to take this next step," Chip added.
For more information on Formula BMW USA or Robert Bunker, visit www.bmw- motorsport.com or www.robertbunker.com